Posted by Comments Off on Tips for Brands to Make the Most of the Auto Show Experience Event Experience

Story Highlights:

  • – Top 4 impactful approaches to amplify your brand’s auto show performance
  • – Ford’s video campaigns result in 57.7% of total industry shares
  • – How Volvo took social media by storm at NAIAS
  • – Opel brand uses slam poetry to engage Millennials at Paris Auto Show
  • – Interactive auto show displays create meaningful connections in New England

The Boston, Washington, Montreal and Detroit auto shows may be over, but brands are still busily preparing and executing plans for the remaining North American and International Auto Shows that will continue to take place throughout April, 2016.

The best brands are always evaluating peers and themselves in order to make improvements for each show. Taking a look at some notable auto shows this year and last, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help your brand make the most of your auto show experience.

Harness the Power of Video

The top brands have ramped up their auto show performance months before (and sometimes a year ahead) of the actual event with targeted marketing campaigns. Take Ford, for example. Their online video ad campaign Return of a Legend generated the most attention and engagement online for the 12 months leading up to the 2015 New York Auto Show.

According to Unruly, the result of Ford’s video campaign push was that they “captured 57.7% of the total number of shares the auto market has managed over the last year.” Part of Ford’s success with video is due to their consistency in the medium. Unlike some auto brands who deliver exceptional videos at peak viewing times, Ford consistently delivers amazing videos throughout the year. These videos cover a wide variety of content and have different goals —from ads promoting new vehicle models to new marketing campaigns to thought innovations.

Build Momentum for the Show on Social

It’s important to build momentum for your appearance at the show. Volvo led social media by building momentum at this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) with Twitter’s promoted trend feature. Volvo launched the promoted trend #TheFutureOfDriving on the first day of the press preview, ingeniously timing the launch prior to the start of the auto show. Using this hash tag Volvo gave Twitter followers a sneak peek into the new Volvo S90.

Wondering if it’s worth it to invest in Twitter promotion to amplify your message at an auto show? According to Wayin, which measured the frequency with which brand, model and auto show keywords appeared in tweets for 30 minutes prior to, and two hours after the scheduled reveal time, “thousands of people sent an average of 25 tweets per minute about the NAIAS on the Monday and Tuesday, adding up to a total of more than 87,000 tweets.”

Don’t Be Afraid —Be Unconventional and Experiential

At the Paris Auto Show the Opel brand introduced their new model the Adam with slam poetry recited by four young urban Millennials (the car’s target buyer). Each poet expressed one of the brand’s themes through their poetry (which included individuality, connectivity, mobility and energy) amongst the backdrop of the hustle and bustle of Paris life.

Opel’s street-themed slam poetry is an example of how experiential marketing is making waves in the auto industry. At an auto show where your brand needs to stand out creating memorable experiences that are on point with the brand’s message can differentiate your company in the minds of both the press and consumers. The key is to make sure your memorable message or experience clearly and effectively communicates what your brand is about.

Unconventional marketing is one way to make your brand stand out. You can also differentiate yourself by challenging conventional thinking (as long as you stay on point with your brand’s messaging). Brands that are catalysts for change often challenge conventional thinking within the industry. Companies that do this successfully are often able to make an emotional connection with their consumer. If you can do this while communicating your brand message then you may help differentiate your brand from the competition.

Focus on the Future

Let’s face it, the buzz at most auto shows revolves around new and future technology, design and innovation. Although a number of consumers are at the show to find a new vehicle, not everyone is out to buy. The shows also attract a number of car enthusiasts and automotive journalists. These two segments of the audience are most interested in new, cutting-edge advances from industry leaders and future innovations.

According to the Auto Shows of North America, one of the big take-a-ways for organizers of the New England International Auto Show ” was a surge in the number of interactive features in many of the displays…People are very excited and interested in what’s happening with autonomous technologies and the displays are doing their part in helping people understand what they can expect,” event coordinator Barbara Pudney explains. “I see more and more people spending time in the booth, which is benefiting the automakers in a big way,” she says.

Observing your competition’s brand messaging and marketing tactics and making adjustments to your own strategy is sage advice for all companies. In the highly competitive automotive industry brands who have harnessed video, built momentum using social media, taken unconventional risks and focused on future innovation are strongly positioned to make the most out of their auto show experience.